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Digital Subscriptions > Animal Wellness > Feb/Mar 2017 > PET FOOD RECALLS

PET FOOD RECALLS

It’s been ten years since the huge pet food recall that sickened thousands of dogs and cats. How has pet food safety improved – or not – since then?

Pet food recalls have been a trending topic for decades. Reasons range from salmonella contamination to high sodium levels to traces of mold. Our first reaction may be to blame the manufacturer, but many pet food companies have taken steps to upgrade their facilities and improve testing protocols. So why do pet food recalls keep occurring?

A BRIEF HISTORY

To consider where we’re at today, let’s take a look at what’s happened in the past. The massive pet food recall of 2007 was the biggest in North American history. Thousands of dogs and cats became ill, and many died from kidney failure, due to contaminated products distributed by Menu Foods. Over 60 million cans and bags of pet food were recalled. The culprit turned out to be a chemical called melamine, found in wheat gluten imported from China. While melamine is used as a fertilizer and in the production of plastic, it’s relatively non-toxic when ingested in trace amounts. However, it was speculated that cyanuric acid (which is commonly used in pet food) combined with the melamine created the harmful compound that made pets ill. But logistics aside, how and why did melamine get into the wheat gluten to begin with?

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